Great Investigations webinar this morning (14 September) on the Rationale and Architecture of Investigations, featuring Dame Laura Cox, Beth Hale, Elizabeth Prochaska and David Smellie.

These were some of my favourite bits:

  • A good investigation restores trust and rebuilds relationships. But botched investigations can have catastrophic results – beyond the harmful impact on individuals – including reputational damage.
  • Must be robust and full, but avoid irrelevancies.
  • Needs independent, impartial investigator.
  • Report should be clear and succinct with clear recommendations.
  • Good investigations can enhance reputation.
  • Regulators will welcome a thorough investigation.



  • Must have clear aims and objectives.
  • Terms of reference, incl. scope and methodology, must be articulated right at the start. Ideally agreed.


  • Inquisitive process – what are issues and allegations?
  • What materials and interviews needed?
  • How to ensure fairness?
  • Give subject(s) opportunity to respond to conclusions before publishing report.
  • Don’t overlook proper counselling, especially for alleged victims or witnesses. Be alert to re-traumatising victims.


  • Investigator needs: Professionalism, integrity, reliability, independence, impartiality, objectivity.
  • They must be flexible, quick thinking & good at problem solving.
  • Specialist skills sometimes also needed.
  • Avoid confirmation bias.
  • Keep calm.
  • Report should be accurate – silly mistakes (e.g. typos) could undermine the report.
  • Transparency and/or publication lends credibility, where possible. Be aware of confidentiality and data protection risks.
  • Vital to follow up report’s recommendations. Cultural change takes time and must endure.

This webinar is part of the 11KBW & CM Murray LLP Investigations Virtual Conference, running from 14 – 27 September and 4 October, 2021. To find out more about upcoming sessions in the conference click here.